Soros and Bush

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ShoeshineBoy, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. Just an fyi since some people seem interested in all things Soros: George S explaines how he legally gave a quantum sum (no pun intended) to get rid of George WB:

    Why I Gave

    By George Soros
    Friday, December 5, 2003; Page A31

    I and a number of other wealthy Americans are contributing millions of dollars to grass-roots organizations engaged in the 2004 presidential election. We are deeply concerned with the direction in which the Bush administration is taking the United States and the world.

    If Americans reject the president's policies at the polls, we can write off the Bush Doctrine as a temporary aberration and resume our rightful place in the world. If we endorse those policies, we shall have to live with the hostility of the world and endure a vicious cycle of escalating violence.

    In this effort, I have committed $10 million to America Coming Together, a grass-roots get-out-the-vote operation, and $2.5 million to the Voter Fund, a popular Internet advocacy group that is airing advertisements to highlight the administration's misdeeds. This is a pittance in comparison with money raised and spent by conservative groups.

    Rather than a debate on the issues, there's been a lot of name-calling by such groups as the Republican National Committee and the National Rifle Association. In an attempt to taint the groups I support and intimidate other donors, they imply that my contributions are illegitimate or that I have somehow broken the law.

    In fact, I have scrupulously abided by both the letter and the spirit of the law. Both America Coming Together and the Voter Fund are "527" organizations -- referring to Section 527 of the tax code -- which are entitled to receive unlimited contributions from individuals. Both groups are fully transparent about their motives and activities. Both file detailed and frequent reports with government regulators.

    The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act was an attempt to limit the influence that special interests can gain by financing candidates and to level the playing field between the two parties. My contributions are made in that spirit.

    President Bush has a huge fundraising advantage because he has figured out a clever way to raise money. He relies on donors he calls "Pioneers," who collect $100,000 apiece in campaign contributions in increments that fall within the legal limit of $2,000 a person, and on those he calls "Rangers," who collect at least $200,000.

    Many of these Pioneers and Rangers are corporate officials who are well situated to raise funds from their business associates, bundle them together and pass them along with tracking numbers to ensure proper "credit." They are buying the same level of access and influence for their corporate interests that they previously obtained with their own and corporate funds. With the help of Pioneers and Rangers, President Bush is on track to collect $200 million.

    To counter the fundraising advantage obtained by this strategy, I have contributed to independent organizations that by law are forbidden to coordinate their activities with the political parties or candidates. That law minimizes or eliminates the ability to purchase influence in exchange for my contribution. Moreover, I don't seek such influence. My contributions are made in what I believe to be the common interest. ACT is working to register voters, and MoveOn is getting more people engaged in the national debate over Bush's policies.

    I recognize that the system is imperfect, and I wish there were a different way to level the playing field. Making contributions to ACT and the Voter Fund is the best approach I have found. I have been an advocate of campaign finance reform for almost a decade, including the legal defense of the current legislation. I recognize that every new regulation has unintended adverse consequences, but this does not mean reform should be abandoned.

    Clearly, the rules need to be updated in the light of the 2004 experience. Some good proposals have already surfaced, including one from the major sponsors of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. This bill should be supported. Among other measures, it calls for an increase in the federal match for small contributions and would raise the spending limit for candidates who accept public funding to $75 million -- changes that would reduce the bias toward big-money donors. Free airtime for candidates is also important. This would reduce the cost of campaigns and the distorting effect of commercials.

    Full disclosure and transparency are clearly beneficial. It is important that people know where financial support is coming from. I have been open about my contributions, and I welcome the debate they have sparked. In the meantime, as the debate continues, my contributions help to ensure that the money spent on trying to reelect President Bush doesn't overwhelm the process.

    The writer is chairman of the Soros Management Fund and author of "The Bubble of American Supremacy."
  2. Elsewhere, in a sign that the President is serious about sending Americans to the moon, Mr. Bush today added the moon to the Axis of Evil.
  3. The Soros article is full of misstatements. For example, it has been the law for at least 30 years that corporations were not allowed to contribute to campaigns. yet Soros suggests they could. He is a major league hypocrite. He loudly backed the so-called campaign reform act that severely limits the ability of legitimate grassroots groups to run campaign advertising. Yet he and his rich pals skirt the law by funneling enormous sums into shadowy groups that are a clear violation of at least the spirit and probably the letter of the new law. Apparently the test under the new law is whether activities are coordinated, like Clinton had all the unions and other liberal groups singing off the same page. I hope the IRS and FEC will have the guts to take on Soros and his megabucks crowd and determine just how coordinated they are. Maybe they were just talking about the Yankees at those parties in the Hamptons but I doubt it.

    The real irony here is that, as much as Soros and the Democrats pretend they are the party of the little guy, the reason they have to use these groups is that most of their moeny comes from fatcats like Soros and the Hollywood crowd. The Republicans have a huge lead in small donations from ordinary voters. The Deomcrats also get huge amounts of money and in-kind contributions from unions who basically steal their members funds and force them to support candidates they detest. One survey showed 40% of union members are Republicans yet the union money is 99.9% going to Democrats.

    Even Common Cause, a group that basically wrote the new campaign finance law, has been critical of Soros. If anyone thinks his agenda is good government and the common good, they are seriously deluded. Anyone wonder how much of his money came from rich Arab and middle eastern interests? Could they be pulling his string now? Given the secrecy he has used to hide his various dealings, we'll probably never know. But I still remember the howling from the Clintonites over Richard Mellon Scaife and his funding of various groups. They are awfully quit now, aren't they?